Fenland legacy of well known Soham resident to be sold

The estate of Keith Leonard comes to the open market for the first time in three generations

The estate of Keith Leonard is available on the open market and ard consists of seven lots. Mr Leonard’s legacy comprises of two houses and a large agricultural barn, alongside over 90 acres of both arable and garden land making this one of the few traditional fenland estates to still be in existence.

 

Keith Leonard died in 2014 and was a local farmer and a regular attendee of the Cheffins Machinery Sales at Sutton, near Ely. Mr Leonard was aged 71 when he passed away and had spent his entire life in Soham, having attended the now closed Soham Shade School as a child. He was the only child of Leslie and Rose Leonard, who passed away in 1999 and 2002 respectively, leaving him two houses. Mr Leonard built up a significant estate of agricultural land and property throughout his lifetime, all of which is now to be sold.  

One of the lots, Ravendale, is a large detached house needing full renovation on the outskirts of Soham. The property was built by Keith Leonard’s grandparents in the 1920’s and has been lived in by three generations of the Leonard family. The house has four bedrooms, two reception rooms and 0.7 acres of garden and this will be the first time it has come to the open market in almost 100 years. 

The other house within the estate is 27 The Cotes, adjacent to Ravendale, and is a detached cottage in derelict condition. The property has been left empty since the 1950’s when Mr Leonard’s parents moved out of the house to Ravendale. The cottage sits on a large plot of 2.84 acres and Cheffins has achieved planning permission for the property to be replaced by a new family home.  

Mr Leonard’s agricultural barn is also for sale. This is a 167 sq metre barn built around 1965 with 2.27 acres of garden land on The Cotes in Soham. The barn was home to all of Mr Leonard’s agricultural equipment, including five tractors all of which have now been sold. Cheffins has recently achieved planning permission for the barn to be converted into a residential dwelling.

Having never had a family, Keith Leonard purchased a number of acres of arable land throughout Soham during his lifetime, all of which he farmed single-handedly. The remaining four lots of the estate are parcels of arable land of varying sizes, between 6.69 acres and 42.6 acres. All of the land is Grade 2 or 3 and has been cropped with winter wheat, spring beans or potatoes.

Ian Kitson, Director, Cheffins, comments: “Fenland legacies such as these are rarely seen these days and this is a throwback to how life used to be generations ago. Keith Leonard was a popular local character, famous for his love of farming and all things agricultural. He was regularly seen in Soham and Ely in his immaculate red car and attending the Cheffins Machinery Sale where he saw old friends and colleagues.” 

“The estate is bound to generate a great deal of interest, either from investors or developers looking to purchase the houses and restore or replace them, or from local farmers looking to snap up the good quality agricultural land on offer.”

The lots have estimates as follows:Ravendale, 23 The Cotes - £160,000 - £180,00027 The Cotes - £90,000 - £110,000The Barn, The Cotes - £90,000 - £110,00042.6 acres of arable land at Barway Fen, Soham - £300,000 - £400,00015.94 acres of arable land at Blockmoor Fen, Soham - £125,000 - £145,0006.69 acres of arable land at Blockmoor Fen, Soham - £40,000 - £45,000 19.54 acres of arable land at Blockmoor Fen, Soham - £125,000 - £145,000 

The Keith Leonard Estate will be sold via auction on Wednesday 15th March, at Cheffins, Clifton House, 1&2 Clifton Road, Cambridge, CB1 7EA. For more information contact the Cheffins Property Auction team on t: 01223 213777 (ext.2).

Ravendale Property Cheffins

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